United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
ORDER SETTING ALLOWABLE NUMBER OF REQUESTS FOR
PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS
KEITH BALL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court are two motions for entry of a proposed case
management order (“CMO”), one submitted by
Plaintiff, United States of America, , the other by
Defendant, State of Mississippi, . The parties have
agreed to all of the terms of the proposed CMO, except for
the number of requests for production of documents (RPDs)
that the United States will be permitted. For the reasons
described herein, the Court rules that the CMO shall permit
each party seventy-five (75) RPDs.
Court held a telephonic case management conference (TCMC) on
May 4, 2017, wherein the parties informed the Court that they
were having difficulty reaching agreement on the manner and
scope of permissible discovery. On May 5, 2017 the Court
ordered the parties to meet and confer in an attempt to
resolve those disagreements. That meeting proved largely
successful, as the only disagreement now before the Court is
how many requests for production of documents that the United
States should be permitted. See , . The
State argues that the parties should be permitted 50 RPDs,
whereas the United States argues for 150.
rulings are committed to the sound discretion of the trial
court and will not be reversed on appeal unless arbitrary or
clearly unreasonable." Taite v. City of Fort Worth
Tex., 681 F.App'x 307, 309 (5th Cir. 2017)(citing
Outley v. Luke & Associates, Inc., 840 F.3d 212,
220 (5th Cir. 2016). Rule 34 of Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure does not specify a limit to the number of RPDs a
party may propound during the course of discovery.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 34; see also David v.Signal Int'l,
L.L.C., No. 08-1220, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117319, at
*11 (E.D. La. Aug. 22, 2014). However, Rule 26(b)(1) requires
that discovery must be both relevant and “proportional
to the needs of the case.” In considering the
proportionality of proposed discovery, the Court is to
the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the
amount in controversy, the parties' relative access to
relevant information, the parties' resources, the
importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and
whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery
outweighs its likely benefit.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1); see also Ehrenberg v. State
Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No. 16-17269, 2017 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 132036, at *5 (E.D. La. Aug. 18, 2017). “Pursuant
to Rule 26(b)(2), a court may limit the number of requests
for production if the court determines that the discovery is
unreasonably cumulative or obtainable from some other source
that is less burdensome or less expensive, . . . or, the
burden or expense of the discovery outweighs its likely
benefit.” Sonnino v.Univ. of Kan. Hosp. Auth.,
220 F.R.D. 633, 657 (D. Kan. 2004).
Court has reviewed each party's motion, response in
opposition to the competing motion, and rebuttal. The Court
finds that in considering the proportionality factors of Rule
26(b)(1), the needs of the case justify a number of RPDs that
is higher than the number typically present in civil CMOs.
However, as the State convincingly argues, the needs of the
case do not, as of yet, justify the 150 RPDs the United
States has requested. While the scope of this litigation is
broad, it neither constitutes a class action nor includes
other plaintiffs, as did the cases Plaintiff cited in support
of its position. Compare  with United States
of America v. State of New Hampshire, Case No.
1:12-cv-53-SM (D. N.H. 20120, Doc. 21, and Steward v.
Abbott, 5:10-cv-1025-OLG (W.D. Tex. 2010), Doc. 137.
Additionally, should the United States be permitted the 150
RPDs it has requested, the potential benefit to the Plaintiff
would likely be outweighed by the burden and expense to the
State. Therefore, the Court rules that the parties shall each
be permitted 75 RPDs. The Court finds that, based on the
information contained in the Complaint and the argument made
by the parties in these two motions, this number of RPDs
should permit the parties to adequately conduct discovery in
support of their positions. Should it become necessary for a
party to propound RPDs beyond the number permitted by this
Order, that party may move for an amendment to the CMO
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 16.
Court grants motions  and  to the extent they propose
agreed terms for the CMO. The Court denies motions  and
 to the extent they each submit a proposed number of
permissible RPDs, and orders that each party be permitted 75
RPDs. This Order resolves the final point of disagreement
between the parties with regard to their proposed CMOs.
Accordingly, counsel for the parties shall jointly submit to
the Court within fourteen days a proposed CMO which is
consistent with the terms of this Order.
 It appears from the motions that the
parties have also agreed that the CMO should permit each side
forty-five (45) requests for admission. ...